What Happens When New Supermarkets Open in Food Deserts? Not What You May Think.



For years, public health advocates have argued that food deserts—neighborhoods without grocery stores or other fresh food vendors—contribute to a disproportionate burden of obesity and chronic [...]

Health Professionals Should Work Together on Policy



In 1905, a Boston-based physician named Richard Cabot decided that medicine could do more to meet the social needs of patients. With his own money, he hired a nurse, Garnet Pelton, who began to [...]

What Is Single Payer, Anyway? It Depends Who You Ask.



For any political candidate running for office today, a central health-policy question is: What do you think of single payer? But perhaps a more fundamental question would be: What, exactly, do [...]

How Community Health Workers Could Create Less-Costly, Higher-Quality Care



We usually think of innovations in health care—novel cancer treatments, cutting-edge surgical techniques, powerful imaging tests—as being developed in the U.S., and later diffusing to other [...]

Is It Getting Harder to Care for Poor Patients?



In my more exasperated moments of residency, I must admit I was envious not only of what my supervising doctors knew, but also who they treated. Residents in our clinic, doctors in training just [...]

The Largest Health Disparity We Don’t Talk About



I didn’t think our relationship would last, but neither did I think it would end so soon. My patient had struggled with bipolar disorder his entire life, and his illness dominated our years [...]

Finding Purpose for a Good Life. But Also a Healthy One.



My favorite medical diagnosis is “failure to thrive.” Not because patients are failing to thrive — that part makes me sad. But because of the diagnosis’s bold proposition: Humans, in their [...]